National Roundup

Ohio: Attempted murder charge in alleged abortion drive
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An attempted murder charge has been leveled against an Ohio man accused of forcing his pregnant girlfriend to drive to an abortion clinic at gunpoint.

County prosecutor Ron O’Brien told The Columbus Dispatch in an e-mail Tuesday the charge returned by a grand jury falls under a state murder statute prohibiting the unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Columbus police say 28-year-old Dominic Holt-Reid became angry after the woman refused to go through with a scheduled abortion. Police say he pulled out a handgun and ordered her to drive to the clinic on Oct. 5. The woman slipped a note to a clinic employee, who called officers.

Investigators haven’t said how far along the woman’s pregnancy was.

Holt-Reid is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

New York: Man cleared in 1984 rape get $18.5M from NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has awarded $18.5 million to a New York City man who was exonerated four years ago after spending more than two decades in prison.

Alan Newton was cleared by DNA evidence in 2006. He’d been sentenced in 1985 to up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of raping a woman in an abandoned building.

In awarding the money Tuesday, the federal jury ruled the city had violated Newton’s constitutional rights. It also found two police officers had failed to produce Newton’s evidence when requested.

The city said it will appeal the Manhattan jury’s decision.

Newton told The New York Times it’s something he’d been fighting for since he was freed in 2006.

His case has been supported by the nonprofit Innocence Project, which seeks to free convicts through DNA evidence.

Nebraska: Man gets probation for killing animals
HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — An 18-year-old Hastings man who helped shoot and kill a cow, calf and horse has been given three years of probation and six months at the state Work Ethic Camp in McCook.

Adams County authorities say Justin Jones and a 15-year-old accomplice killed a calf, cow and horse in September 2009.

Court records say Jones had pleaded no contest to intentional cruelty to an animal and to operating a vehicle to avoid arrest. In return for Jones’ pleas, prosecutors dropped seven firearms counts, five counts of criminal mischief, and charges of assault and reckless driving.

At his sentencing on Monday, Jones also was ordered to pay a total of nearly $2,300 in restitution.

The case for Jones’ alleged accomplice has been sent to juvenile court.

California: Woman in family killing plot ruled insane
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — A judge says a Redwood City woman charged with plotting to kill her family, including the use of a 10-pound dumbbell to attack her children, is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutor Steve Wagstaffe says 50-year-old Philomena Brown pleaded no contest Tuesday to attempted murder and felony assault in exchange for a deal calling for the district attorney’s office to concur with three doctors who determined she was insane at the time of the crime.

The San Jose Mercury News says San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak then ruled Brown was not guilty by reason of insanity and set a Dec. 8 hearing to consider state mental health department placement.

Brown hit her 23-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son with the dumbbell in June and allegedly tried to poison her husband.

North Carolina: Appeals court allows poultry plant pollution case
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court says prosecutors can pursue charges against a North Carolina poultry processor accused of refusing to stop dumping untreated turkey remains into waterways.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected arguments that House of Raeford should not face criminal charges because it paid nearly $1 million in pollution fines.

The ruling was first reported Wednesday by The Fayetteville Observer.

A federal grand jury last year indicted the company and the manager of its Raeford plant on charges they violated the federal Clean Water Act.

The company and executive are accused of bypassing its water treatment system, dumping turkey feathers, blood, and internal organs into waterways.

A company attorney did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.

North Carolina: Court denies soldier retrial in NC pilot’s murder
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A military appeals court won’t consider an appeal from a former Fort Bragg soldier convicted of killing his lover’s husband, who was a pilot at a neighboring Air Force base.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Wednesday the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces rejected John Diamond’s petition.

Diamond was a Fort Bragg staff sergeant when he was convicted in 2001 of first-degree murder in the death of Air Force Capt. Marty Theer.

Prosecutors say Diamond plotted the killing with Theer’s wife, Michelle. The 41-year-old psychologist was also convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Marty Theer was a C-130 pilot at Pope Air Force Base.

Prosecutors say he was lured to his wife’s office in December 2000 so Diamond could ambush him.

Texas: Judge bars release of Houston teen beating video
HOUSTON (AP) — Surveillance video showing the alleged beating of a 15-year-old burglary suspect by Houston police will not be released.

A federal judge in Houston has barred the public release as four police officers face trial on official oppression charges over the March incident. No trial dates have been set.

Attorney Benjamin Hall, who filed a civil rights suit against two officers on behalf of Chad Holley and his family, says he’s seen the storage facility security tape and believes police were unjustified in their actions.

Media organizations also sought release of the videotape. A judge on Monday rejected their request.

District Attorney Pat Lykos has cited fair trial concerns in seeking to keep the tape private.

Police Chief Charles McClelland in June fired seven officers seen on the video.